We reported earlier this month that MGM and Warner Bros. were not pursuing other directors for a highly-anticipated two-part film until they heard a definitive answer from Peter Jackson and now it seems that answer is yes. Deadline New York is reporting that Peter Jackson is now in negotiations to direct both The Hobbit and The Hobbit Sequel.

The site is also reporting that securing Jackson as the director could be an important step in getting MGM to lock down a shooting schedule that would have the film begin production by the end of this year.

Several directors had been mentioned to take over the film once Guillermo del Toroleft the film at the end of May, but it seems that the man who started The Lord of the Rings franchise is now in line to direct these prequel films.

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We'll be sure to update you on this story as soon as more information is revealed, so stay tuned.